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Conference to discuss outdoor learning in Early Childhood Education programs

Early Childhood Educator working with children

How does being outdoors help children’s cognitive and social development?  

The involvement of outdoor pedagogy in college programs will be discussed during a virtual conference on May 16, that will bring together Early Childhood Education (ECE) instructors and outdoor play experts from across the country. 

Okanagan College, in collaboration with Bow Valley College, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and New Brunswick Community College, and colleagues at the YMCA and the University of Fraser Valley will host a conference called Outdoor Pedagogy: Change Makers from Diverse Perspectives.   

“We are so excited to bring together college ECE instructors all across the country to participate in this second annual conference aimed at collaboratively advancing outdoor pedagogy in college ECE programs,” says Dr. Beverlie Dietze, Director of Learning and Applied Research at Okanagan College and project lead on the Lawson Foundation-supported research project. “We are eagerly looking forward to the ideas, discussions, resources and action this conference will generate.” 

Attendees will have the opportunity to join workshops by leading ECE and outdoor play experts from across Canada. They will also have a chance to hear from guest speaker Dr. Rebecca Isbell, an internationally renowned speaker and author of several books including Creativity and the Arts for Young Children and?Nurturing Creativity: An Essential Mindset for Young Children’s Learning. Isbell is known for celebrating the positive influences that educators, researchers and early learning professionals have on children during their critical years of development. 

The conference is made possible by the Lawson Foundation supporting researchers from the four institutions in their innovative approach to advancing outdoor early learning and teaching nationally. 

The conference is just one initiative in a three-year project which aims to demonstrate a model of outdoor pedagogy practices, teaching, learning and mentoring that will create a shift in curriculum in post-secondary ECE programs and in community early learning and childcare programs. 

You can register for the conference online at

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